AMA News & Notes: July 2020

National, regional, state and local news for motorcyclists

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump intends to nominate William Perry Pendley to be the director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Pendley currently serves as the BLM deputy director for policy and programs. He has decades of experience in federal land management policy as an attorney, according to a BLM press release.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coalition for Recreational Trails is calling for nominations for outstanding projects that used funds from the federal Recreational Trails Program for consideration for a 2020 achievement award. Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators or other project sponsors. Projects must be completed to receive an award. Award categories include construction and design; maintenance and rehabilitation; public/private partnerships and access to public lands; community linkage; education and communication; accessibility enhancement; multiple-use management and “corridor sharing;” use of youth conservation/service corps and community outreach; engaging public-sector partners; and enhancement of federal lands. There will be no in-person awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., this year, however there will be an online virtual ceremony this summer. And all award winners will be invited to participate in the next in-person event on Capitol Hill, which organizers hope will be in 2021. For more information, visit americantrails.org/crt.

State News

PISMO BEACH, Calif. — The California Coastal Commission has scheduled a multi-day virtual hearing. Of particular interest to the riding community, at 9 a.m. July 9 will be a status report by California State Parks on the progress of State Parks’ Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area Public Works Plan, as well dust reduction efforts. For a complete agenda and information about hearing procedures and requests to speak during the meetings, visit coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2020/7. The public may also submit comments before the meeting.

SUSANVILLE, Calif. — The Lassen National Forest and Lassen County Resource Advisory Committee are seeking proposals for projects that qualify for funding under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act. The deadline for submission of project proposals is July 21. Projects must benefit forest system lands and ecosystems in Lassen County. The projects must have broad-based support with objectives that may include, but are not limited to road, trail and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil productivity improvements; improvements in forest ecosystem health; watershed restoration and maintenance; wildlife and fish habitat improvements; control of noxious and exotic weeds; reintroduction of native species and hazardous fuels reduction. A hard copy application package must be submitted no later than July 21 and be addressed to the Lassen RAC, c/o Lassen National Forest, 2550 Riverside Drive, Susanville, CA 96130, Attn: Mark Gaston. For information about the Lassen National Forest, copies of the application and other related instructions, visit ufs.usda.gov/main/lassen/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

MONTROSE, Colo. — The BLM issued a notice in June to lease about 44 acres of public land to Montrose County to develop the Shavano Gateway Recreation Area just west of Montrose. The new area will improve recreation opportunities and experiences on the western slope and will be part of the popular 4×4 Rimrocker Trail that runs from Montrose, Colorado, to Moab, Utah. Improvements will include a staging area with an off-highway vehicle obstacle and training course, trailhead parking, restrooms, barbeques, cabanas and picnic sites. Twenty miles of single-track trails will be developed on public lands adjacent to the area, which will accommodate large group events. The improvements and facilities will support the Dry Creek Recreation Area trails, Rimrocker Trail and the new 20-mile single-track trail system. Eventually, the BLM may convey this public land to Montrose County. The BLM notice is available for review at go.usa.gov/xvSve. Comments must be submitted by July 6. Send written comments to the Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Jana Moe, 2465 S. Townsend Ave. Montrose, CO 81401, or submit electronically to Jana Moe at jpmoe@blm.gov.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service announced that additional Florida State Forest recreation areas are reopening, as they move to an online, cash-free point-of-sale system. Annual Off-Highway Vehicle passes went on sale June 24. Passes are valid through June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, day-use passes for recreation areas, including trailheads and OHV riding areas, will be available. On July 10, group campsites, picnic pavilions and group recreation areas will reopen, with a capacity of 50 people. To purchase passes or to make a campsite reservation, visit floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com or call (877) 879-3859.

LACONIA, N.H. — Weirs Beach business owners urged the City Council on June 22 not to cancel Laconia Motorcycle Week, which was postponed to Aug. 22-30 due to concerns about the coronavirus. Charlie St. Clair, Laconia Motorcycle Week Association executive director, said the event likely be much smaller than typical annual attendance of 250,000 to 325,000. The council took no action at the June meeting.

RIO PUERCO, N.M. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has opened the nomination process to fill several positions on the newly established Rio Puerco management committee. The committee advises the Secretary of the Interior on the development and implementation of the Rio Puerco Management Program. The committee serves as a forum for information about activities that may affect or further the development and implementation of best management practices, identify objectives and develop alternative watershed management plans for the Rio Puerco drainage basin. Members serve three-year terms. The application form can be downloaded at blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/New-Mexico. The BLM will consider nominations received through July 8.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In an effort to stop distracted driving, the Ohio Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to create Central Ohio’s first “Distracted Driving Safety Corridor.” The 22-mile stretch of I-71 in Delaware and Morrow counties will be staffed with more troopers looking for violations, as well as signs warning drivers they have entered the corridor, where there is zero-tolerance for distracted and unsafe driving.

LEXINGTON, Ohio — After nearly a two-month pause, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course reopened to spectators on a limited basis June 26-28 for the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. The race weekend is the longest continuously running annual event at the facility. The Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio operated under the “Responsible RestartOhio” guidelines for the coronavirus after receiving approval from government officials for limited spectator attendance. The grandstands were not open. Spectators were subject to a temperature check and health screening when entering the facility.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ended its contractual relationship with Total Control Training Inc. on April 18, canceling all motorcycle training clinics scheduled through its Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. Mandatory motorcycle training for individuals younger than 18 who wish to obtain a motorcycle license will be completed online. PennDOT is evaluating its program and vowed to continue motorcycle training. The agency also said it is “committed to ensuring the program is sustainable for the future following the COVID-19 emergency.” More information is available at msp-info@pa.gov.

STURGIS, S.D. — The Sturgis City Council voted June 15 to proceed with preparations for the Aug. 7-16 rally, now in its 80th year, according to the Rapid City Journal. The event draws hundreds of thousands of motorcycle fans to the area. Officials estimated the economic impact of last year’s rally was about $665 million. The council voted 8-1 to allow the rally to take place, but without the usual parade, opening ceremony and B-1 bomber flyover. Earlier in June, a group of business owners vowed to stage a rally, with or without cooperation from the city.

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — The U.S. Forest Service West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee has scheduled a virtual meeting for 9 a.m., July 21 to review and discuss Title II projects.  For meeting details, contact Julie Fosbender, RAC coordinator, at (304) 635-4446 or julie.fosbender@usda.gov. More information is available at: cloudapps-usda-gov.secure.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcuqAAC.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, has been postponed, due to restrictions related to the coronavirus. No new dates have been announced. When additional information is available, the AMA will issue an announcement and post it to americanmotorcyclist.com and all AMA social media outlets. Purchased tickets will be honored on the new dates. Those who bought tickets through the AMA and wish to receive a refund may contact AMA Member Services at (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646) or membershipmailbox@ama-cycle.org. Those who bought tickets through Mid-Ohio should contact the facility at midohio.com or (419) 884-400. Established in 1990 and held at Mid-Ohio for the past 24 years, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is hailed as an annual celebration of America’s motorcycling heritage, welcoming thousands of enthusiasts and hundreds of vendors for bike shows, racing, seminars, the country’s largest motorcycle swap meet and more. Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. For the latest news about the event, visit vintagemotorcycledays.com or facebook.com/AMAVintageMotorcycleDays. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA has created the Member Activity Department to enhance and consolidate efforts to engage members in recreational riding, volunteering and other non-competition activity. Heather Wilson has been promoted to director of member activity to manage the department. The Member Activity Department includes all AMA-sanctioned member non-competition activity, including riding and volunteer programs, and promotes and facilitates sanctioned recreational activities organized by AMA-chartered clubs and promoters. The department also will direct recreational engagement elements of AMA-promoted non-competition events and organize AMA Recreational Riding Commissions, which advise AMA staff on how the association can support AMA-sanctioned recreational activity. Wilson, who joined the AMA communications staff in 2014, most recently was the recreational riding manager. Wilson will report to Chief Operating Officer James Holter. Wilson can be reached at hwilson@ama-cycle.org.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, closed to visitors since March 20 in compliance with Ohio’s coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened June 22. In accordance with Ohio’s Responsible RestartOhio plan, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will follow all safety guidelines in the Consumer, Retail, Services & Entertainment category. These include personal spacing, daily symptom assessments for employees, frequent cleaning of high-touch items and surfaces, directional signage, limited capacity and no groups larger than 10. Groups from five to 10 visitors are encouraged to call (614) 856-2222 or email saustin@ama-cycle.org to schedule visits. In addition, the first hour of operation, 9-10 a.m., will be exclusive to older guests and those who place themselves in at-risk populations. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, on the AMA campus, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. It features two floors. The upper level honors the lives and careers of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers and men and women who have shaped motorcycling in America in racing, rights, design, industry and ambassadorship. The lower level includes themed exhibits, as well as examples of historic motorcycles from the museum’s permanent collection. AMA members can visit the museum for no charge. Nonmember rates are $10 for adults, $3 for students and $8 for seniors. Children 11 and younger can visit for free with an accompanying adult.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA members receive a 20 percent discount on Blendzall racing lubricants, including Blendzall’s castor racing blends that have been used in many championship-winning motorcycles. Blendzall, based in Martins Ferry, Ohio, produces a premium racing lubricant from degummed castor oil and proprietary additives. A special blending catalyst allows Blendzall to mix permanently with gasoline and methanol. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com/ama-members-receive-20-percent-discount-on-blendzall-racing-lubricants.

* * * * *

AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Managing Editor Jim Witters at jwitters@amacycle.org. 

Sign up and stay informed: AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists up to date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with elected officials. Click here to check the “Sign me up for News & Notes” box.

AMA Action Alerts notify motorcyclists when and how to make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, or to sign up and receive them.

Readers also may sign up for other AMA e-newsletters, including Hall of Fame Insider, which focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. To subscribe, click here.

Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it’s rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit us online.

Follow the AMA on Facebook at facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.